Field Guide 15 Modifications for Newbies and Chickens

New knitter just this year, just bought the field guide, practicing the rib lace pattern with a skein of sock yarn I had lying around, first goal is to make the tumbling blocks scarf and then clerestory shawl (ambitious). I’m doing okay with the lace in general, except that my metal needles are too slippery for me right now and the bamboo ones aren’t pointy enough. Is there a bamboo or wood needle that has good pointy tips, helpful for knitting lace? It’s hard to tell looking at products online, but maybe the Dreamz by Knitter’s Pride would be good?

Also, I know I should just follow instructions but I really don’t feel ready to knit holding two strands of yarn together, so my question is should I just go ahead and knit one strand with the recommended yarn weight or substitute a heavier yarn to knit with one strand? Would sport weight be equivalent to two strands of fingering? DK?


I am so excited for you - lace is so much fun to knit! Definitely try a wooden needle - it will really help keep the stitches in place. I don’t know a lot about the different brands of needles and the points on the tips, this might be a bit of trial and error for you, you could give the Dreamz a try.

Lace can be knit with all the different weights of yarn - it depends on what look you like. The pattern for the Tumbling blocks scarf has a variety of weights listed - light fingering (held using 2 strands), worsted, aran which would be used with one strand. I agree that one strand will be easier to manage than two. The tricky part with substituting weights is figuring out how much yarn you will need to finish the project. The Field Guide can give you a guideline.

I hope this has helped a little. Have fun! You’re off to a great start!


Thank you for the encouragement. I did get myself a Dreamz 6.5 mm circular to use with the aran weight La Bien Aimee (I managed to find some). I love these needles – pretty to look at, smooth but not slick, and pointy enough for lace.

I’m part way through row 5 of the lace pattern on the tumbling blocks, wondering how many people might be working on this. I’ve already learned an important lesson about markers! Something new every day.


Have you tried the 4-sided (wooden) Cubics? I haven’t knit lace with them, but I absolutely love them for everything else - they come in both DPNs and circs. Their tips are pointed but not pointy enough to stab you - always a plus, in my book!

(The only thing I would like the makers to add is a light colored option - they are a dark reddish brown, which can be a problem when you are knitting with a dark yarn and want to count stitches.)


I just finished row 19 of the lace pattern. I’m using Malabrigo Rios I had in my stash and I’m thinking one skein may be enough. I have another just in case.
I like circular needles with wooden tips. They can be really pricey but they are so nice to use. I have arthritis in my hands and I just don’t like metal needles. Bamboo is OK but I prefer wood.
I love stitch markers and I’m using one every lace repeat ( yes, every 10 stitches).
Good luck with your scarf!

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Like you, I prefer pointy wood or bamboo needles. I use Knitpicks interchangeable circulars most of the time. I have both the stripey laminated-wood and the blond wood versions so that I have a dark or light needle to contrast with my yarn color. A friend speaks highly of the Lykke wood needles for their surface texture and pointiness, but I haven’t used them myself.

Didn’t know Cubics came in wood, thank you. KP gets such mixed reviews on their needles the whole scene seems confusing, but I really like my Dreamz so far.

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Row 19! Oh my. I wish I was retired. Between being a really slow knitter and having a job, this scarf is going to take a while.

I placed my markers as I was casting on, following the divisions on the chart (every 10, and 6 stitches at one end and 12 at the other), thinking that the lace repeats every row were going to fit nicely between those markers. Did I mention this is my first lace project? I got into row 2 and couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong, but I hadn’t done anything wrong. There was a lot of drama and frustration before I figured out that the lace repeats end in different places, relative to the markers, on different rows. I find myself wishing someone had mentioned that somewhere in the pattern, but I guess experienced knitters already know this kind of stuff.

Anyway, I’m feeling much better now.

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That’s exactly how I placed my markers. On the rows where you have a ssk or ssp and its associated yarnover straddling the stitch marker you should temporarily remove the stitch marker, do the decrease, then place it right after the decrease. As long as you can maintain your 10 stitch spacing it should work out.

Hi Dawn! I’m a newish knitter (3 years). Pretty early on I bought a set of Dreamz interchangeables (because I am always having to change needle sizes to get gauge) and I have been very happy with them. They aren’t pointy like some metal circulars I have used (primarily for socks), but I get it about the slippery-ness. I do find that generally my stitches don’t slip but the needles aren’t “sticky” either. I also find the Dreamz are pointier than some bamboo ones that I started out with. I think it is a lot of personal preference. Good luck!

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Hi! Congrats on getting going with lace knitting! I love knitting lace and prefer using my ChaioGoo Spin interchangeable needles. They are bamboo, but nice and pointy. I see that you have the Dreamz now, I haven’t tried them. One of the things I like about ChiaGoo Interchangeables is that there is a little hole in the metal join area which is used to tighten when changing sizes. I use it to thread life lines through more complicated lace. I use crochet cotton for life lines and they have saved my sanity!

On your other question, yes, if you don’t want to hold 2 yarns together, then using a heavier weight single yarn would give you a similar-gauge fabric. Good luck on the rest of the scarf!

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Thank you. I’m in a big experimental “try one of everything” phase. I even bought myself a Signature circ just to try it out. Those would be a major investment!

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I’m so curious about this “lifeline” but haven’t seen it in action. I’ll have to see if there’s something on YouTube.

ChiaoGoo needles are indeed great. I wish I was a good enough knitter to use their metal needles for everything! The closest I got to having a positive feeling about DPNs was their bamboo “patina” needles, which are beautiful and smooth and pointy.

I was just reading the pattern for the Rib Lace Scarf - you only use 2 strands to cast on and bind off. You knit the body with just 1 strand. Just wanted to give a heads up. Keep on keeping on and stay safe.

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I also use ChaioGoo dpns. I think that using metal or bamboo/wooden needles comes down to preference, not skill level. You can be an expert knitter and just not like metal needles. Or, like me, prefer one kind over another for specific types of knitting.

Lifelines are a great safety net, in my opinion!

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Addi needles Have a lace needle which I use for lace. I also have hyia hyia interchangeables with sharp points. I am using them for my Clerestory Shawl. Hope you enjoy lace as it is so much watching the pattern develop.

Just finished Field Guide 15 Rib Lace Scarf in Lichen and Lace Wildflower a fun and easy lace pattern without being boring. I loved it so much I just kept going and going. On to Tumbling Block Scarf any advice for that one?


Lovely scarf! I envy you for having that “fun” feeling while knitting lace. I’m still figuring out what kind of knitter I want to be, so trying the lace has turned into an interesting experiment. I find it quite hard work, rather stressful, and that prevents me from getting into a knitting “zone” so to speak.

The tumbling block pattern in particular is hard work because you have to work the lace in both directions and don’t get a chance for a “relaxing” return row. I found the SSP stitch in particular to be annoying and got so tired of dealing with it again and again that I gave up on my scarf after ten rows. However, I think if you are an experienced and ambitious lace knitter the lace on both sides will be a feature for you and not a bug.

For sheer intimidation factor, though, I think you can’t beat the aperture stole. I’m just enjoying looking at the pictures and look forward to other knitters (not me) posting their photos of their own in the different colors.

Thanks Dawn I’ve done lace before so it wasn’t too hard the Tumbling Blocks is harder definitely and the SSP can be confusing but if you look in the field guide they explain a pretty easy (easier I think than the videos) on how to execute it. Keep working at it I always look at knitting as a learning experience.

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YES. Knitpicks needles. Get them. They are divinity. Sharp points, perfect for lace, and LOVELY. They’re the only thing I’ll knit with, actually.